Europe made mistakes on migration crisis - Hollande

2015-10-07 18:35
Angela Merkel and Fracois Hollande (AFP)

Angela Merkel and Fracois Hollande (AFP)

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Strasbourg - Europe made mistakes in the handling of its migration crisis, French President Francois Hollande has said during a joint address to the European Parliament with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"I recognise it willingly - Europe was slow to understand that the tragedies in the Middle East or in Africa could not be without consequences for it. Europe did not measure the hope it arouses and that it will long arouse in the face of distress," he says.

"Europe did not dispense enough help to countries who were welcoming in camps ever larger populations. So it's in an urgent fashion that it had to organise to be worthy of its asylum tradition," he adds.

Hollande says it will "probably" be 600 000 migrants and refugees who will arrive in Europe this year. But he also argues that "it's in Turkey that refugees have to be welcomed as much as possible", calling for closer co-operation with that country.

Merkel warned countries against taking an individualist approach to the migration crisis, insisting that "precisely now, we need more Europe".

"Partitioning and sealing off are an illusion in the day and age of the internet," Merkel added, noting that the approach would amount to a rejection of the continent's values and identity.

People coming to Europe out of hardship had to be seen as "humans, not some anonymous mass", irrespective of whether they have a perspective of staying or not, the chancellor added.s.

She also stressed the need to better assist those countries bearing the brunt of the crisis in Syria. "Turkey plays a key role," she said, praising the country's "extraordinary" effort to support 2 million refugees.

Read more on:    germany  |  france  |  migrants

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